The Czech Republic and Portugal get the European Championship quarter-finals underway at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Thursday.
In what will be a repeat of the Euro 96 last-eight clash, where the Czechs prevailed and progressed to the final, both nations suffered defeats in their opening games at this year’s championships.
Czech Republic were hammered 4-1 by Russia, while a Mario Gomez goal handed Portugal a narrow 1-0 loss to Germany.
But since their opening defeats, both sides regrouped and now have the opportunity to earn a semi-final berth.
Michal Bilek’s men recovered to beat Greece 2-1 and Poland 1-0, surging to the top of Group A, much to the surprise of the football world, while Paulo Bento’s side clinched second place in Group B with wins against Denmark (3-2) and Netherlands (2-1).
The Czechs have fitness concerns over Tomas Rosicky. The Arsenal midfielder missed the match against Poland and is yet to participate in training, meaning Daniel Kolar is expected to continue in his position.
Portugal head into the game with no injury worries but will have concerns over their defensive performances in the group stages.
The 10th-ranked nation have conceded three headed goals at the 2012 championships and are yet to keep a clean sheet.
And despite the resurgence of captain Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s defence needs to be at their collective best if they are reach to reach the semi-finals, a feat they last achieved in 2000.
However, the Portuguese boast an array of attacking talent and their flare should be enough to advance to the final four.
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